As you explore the historic samurai district of Kanegasaki in Iwate Prefecture and visit its thatched-roof residences, take some time out to enjoy a tasty lunch or dessert. Here are the top five places to eat at:
5. Takasago Shokudo serves delicious 'yellow' Japanese curry & rice, made from their own special recipe that is flavored with turmeric. This curry contains onions and pork. Customers can choose from a regular or a spicy version. If you are not in the mood for curry, this family-run restaurant has an extensive menu of Japanese favorites. The bean sprout and 'maguro' stir-fry set lunch is also very popular. Takasago is also open for dinner but is closed on Mondays.
4. One of the samurai residences, Kyu-Sakamoto-tei, serves a 'Hato' set lunch. Hato are a type of local, handmade noodles, which are served in a tasty soy sauce based soup broth. Or, if you just need a snack then try their a traditional sticky-rice and walnut 'yubeshi' with tea or coffee. Kyu-Sakamoto-tei is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
3. Collonges is a tiny French Bistro that has been run by a lovely Japanese couple for the past 30 years. They serve fantastic and reasonable lunches that includes soup, salad, bread (or rice), along with a choice of main dishes. This also includes; coffee, tea, or juices. The main dish choices are: fish of the day, meat of the day, hamburger, or liver sausage. They also offer a tasty steak lunch. For dinner, you can choose from two courses, ranging from 2500 to 3500 yen.
2. A beautiful 100 year plus, old thatched roof building is the home of Ecru, a restaurant serving a combination of Western and Japanese food. Customers can choose from a daily pasta, pizza, 'suiton' (Japanese dumplings), soup curry, and more. Soup curry is one of Ecru's specialties. Diners can choose from chicken, pork, lamb, or shrimp. All of these options are served with a variety of vegetables plus rice or pasta. And, almost all of Ecru's lunches are 1000 yen or less. If you have space for dessert, try the raw caramel ice cream. Ecru is closed on Tuesdays.
1. The top place to eat is the Samurai Yashiki Omatsuzaka-kei, a Japanese restaurant housed in a beautiful two-story traditional residence. Lunch options include: oven-baked chicken, lightly battered and baked 'maguro', ginger marinated pork, and much more. All are served with a salad bar; rice and miso soup are optional extras. If you've enjoyed lunch elsewhere, Omatsuzaka-tei also has a tasty selection of desserts to choose from. Their specialty is a 'Dutch Baby', which is served in a mini cast iron pan. This dessert is a hybrid of a pancake, crepe, and popover. It is flavored with maple syrup and lemon. Dinner is by reservation only and is a seasonal set course of local delicacies (minimum of 4 people), with alcohol included, for less than 5000 yen per person. The restaurant is closed on Mondays (except when it is a national holiday).
*Honorable mention: If the weather is really nice and you'd like to picnic outdoors, pick up some fried chicken or some tasty 50 yen croquettes at Marutomi Shokuhin, which has been serving locals for around fifty years. Open from 9am to 6:30pm, and in summer until 7 pm. It is closed on the 3rd Sunday of every month.
Kanegasaki's samurai district is a short walk from Kanegasaki Station on the Tohoku Main Line.
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